“Since men and women are produced by the universe, it is the relationship with the universe which is taught. The Way of Heaven, Claude Larre, SJ
So, what can we learn about ourselves by paying attention to the life and energy of springtime unfolding all around us? The ancient Chinese text known as the Book of Changes or Yi Jing, tells us that “true quiet means keeping still when the time has come to keep still and going forward when the time has come to go forward. In this way rest and movement are in agreement with the demands of the time…”
Since the time of dormancy and storage appropriate to winter has passed, it is time to move forward with renewed vision and growth. Spring is the Wood element or phase in Chinese philosophy and medicine and is associated with birth, the color green, the east and the rising sun. In the body it is associated with the liver and gall bladder networks, our tendons/muscular forces, the smooth flow of our energy (or not) and our capacity for planning, vision and decision-making.
Wood is an implacable force of nature and at times, tender-looking shoots will rise right up through a concrete sidewalk or asphalt pathway. But, for wood to be healthy, it also needs to be well-rooted—it’s not all about the ascent. Bamboo, for example, shoots up vigorously, but then gathers this energy and creates a node or joint to reinforce this vigor, before rising up again. This insures that it remains both strong and able to yield in the wind.
In our bodies strong, flexible tendons insure that we are able to be upright and sturdy. The smooth flow of energy through our bodies, minds and spirits allows us to feel grounded as we face of the changing winds of life. We are able to take a stand, to feel empowered in who we are.
When out of balance, we may become inflexible, indecisive or unorganized. We can be quick to anger. Sometimes, stifled vision or planning leads to frustration, impatience or even a loss of hope. The liver network point Gate of Hope, is a point that may provide a fresh perspective. Points of the gall bladder network such as, Bright and Clear and Eye Window speak to the capacity for clarity and vision, inspiration and direction in our life.
Things you can do:
· Eat fresh, organic greens - they’re beneficial for the liver
· Walk - exercise those muscular force
· Find a high place from which to set your gaze into the distance and dream
· Enjoy the birdsong and the easy unfolding of the time
· Spring does not last forever – make wise use of your time so that which you sow, is that which you truly wish to reap